OAKLAND – What happened: Winning or losing isn't all that big a deal in the preseason, though coming out ahead in the end certainly feels a little better in the grand scheme of things.
New head coach Matt Patricia and his Detroit Lions will have to wait at least another week for their first win of the preseason, after falling to the Raiders 16-10 Friday night in Oakland.
As expected, most of the Lions starters saw very limited action, and a few, including quarterback Matthew Stafford, didn't play at all.
The starters got two series each on offense and defense, and then most of their nights were over. The offensive starters, led by quarterback Matt Cassel, failed to score in two drives. The defense had a couple lapses, including a 41-yard reception to receiver Johnny Holton that set the Raiders up at the Lions' 10-yard line, but stiffened up and allowed just a field goal in their two series.
The Raiders jumped out to a 10-0 first-half lead on a field goal and 7-yard touchdown catch by Ryan Switzer.
Detroit chipped into the lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Ameer Abdullah in the second quarter, but unfortunately, that would be the only time the Lions saw the end zone. Ryan Santoso added a 24-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Cassel vs. Rudock: With Stafford sitting this one out, Cassel and Jake Rudock, who are competing to be Stafford's backup in the fall, received a lot of playing time.
Cassel started the game and played up to the midway point of the second quarter. He then re-entered the game for the final Lions drive of the game that began on the 40-yard line with just over two minutes remaining and the Lions trailing 16-10.
The game ended when Cassel was stripped of the ball with 25 seconds left at the Raiders' 44-yard line.
He finished 10-of-18 passing for 81 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He was sacked three times, fumbled once and finished with a passer rating of 67.1. He did lead a second-quarter scoring drive right before exiting, connecting with tight end Hakeem Valles for 13 yards on a 3rd and 11 to eventually set up the Abdullah score.
Rudock completed 12 of his 19 pass attempts for 84 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He also rushed three times for six yards and finished with a passer rating of 73.1.
Neither quarterback really stood out in the first game action of the preseason.
Flags aplenty: It's not uncommon to see plenty of penalty flags, dropped passes and overall sloppy play in the preseason, especially Week 1.
The Lions and Raiders combined for 17 penalties (Lions 8-69; Raiders 9-75) for a total of 144 yards, which isn't terrible, but a couple of those wiped out big plays.
A 60-yard touchdown run by Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was called back on a hold by left tackle Kolton Miller in the first quarter.
Lions rookie running back Kerryon Johnson had a 57-yard scamper called back on a hold by left tackle Tyrell Crosby in the third quarter.
We also saw our first enforcement of the new helmet rule. Raiders safety Karl Joseph was flagged 15 yards in the first half for lowering his head and delivering a forcible blow to Abdullah on a nice run.
Showing off: Lions GM Bob Quinn was serious about improving Detroit's run game this offseason, and selecting Johnson in the second round was part of the plan.
Johnson's shown a lot of playmaking ability in camp, and it took just one run in the third quarter to show off the whole repertoire in his game. He stiff-armed linebacker Kyle Wilber to get into the second level, juked and then broke an attempted tackle by safety Shalom Liani. He then made a nice cut to avoid cornerback Dexter McDonald and showed some burst to run all the way across the field before finally being driven out of bounds at the Oakland 5.
Unfortunately, the play was called back for holding.
Johnson finished with 34 rushing yards on seven carries, and also caught four passes for another 33 yards.
Sitting it out: Two starters – right guard T.J. Lang and defensive end Ziggy Ansah –joined Stafford with getting the night off.
Running back Theo Riddick and cornerback Nevin Lawson also didn't play.